Jain Acharya fasts for 180 days for third time

Jain Acharya Hans Ratna Maharaj ending his record third time 180-day fast


MUMBAI: It may or may not be a world record for anyone fasting continuously for 180 days – six months – living only on water but if it happens three times, it is an unsurpassed feat and a world record by itself. That is what a Jain Acharya in India did this month.

Acharya Hans Ratna Maharaj Saheb is credited with this feat and if one scans through his fasting record he has been doing this type of fasting – a few days to a few months – for over three score times in his quest for spiritual salvation and moksha, a Jain precept

He is considered among his followers and companions as a gem of rigorous fasting. In Jainism, fasting is the spiritual discipline that involves renunciation of food to maintain self-control and self-discipline to reach self-realization and the ultimate goal of moksha or spiritual liberation. Tapasya is thus the voluntary acceptance of austerities of the body, mind and verbal to achieve a higher end of life. To win one’s soul, one has to win it over own physical mind and body.

Acharya Hans Ratna Maharaj Saheb, now 54, was born April 15, 1966, and was named Hari Bhai to Raji Ben and Devji Bhai Satra at Mumbai. At the young age of 13, he renounced the world and entered the life of a monk. Under the guidance of his Guru Acharya Shri Bhuvanbhanu Suriswarji, he observed his third 180-day fasting which culminated in Parna – breaking of the fast November 3. The Parna event was organized by Neeta Sanjay Godawat family.

Acharya’s first 180-day fast was at Marine Drive in Mumbai that ended February 28, 2014. The second 180-day fast was at Andheri, Mumbai, that ended July 6, 2018. The third 180-day fast that set a world record was done at Sangli, a city in Maharashtra and that ended in November 2019.

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